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Genetic Counseling

Genetics can influence your health and wellness. Gundersen Health System genetic counselors can help you analyze hereditary information and develop personalized treatment plans in the following specialty care areas:

Our genetic counselors offer services in-person in La Crosse and Onalaska. Ask your healthcare provider to be referred to Genetic Counseling for an appointment.

Preparing for your appointment

Your personal and family medical history is important. You can prepare for an appointment with our genetic counselors by:

  • Asking relatives about your family's medical history. If possible, get the most detailed account of the condition that has been diagnosed in your family (if applicable), and the ages at which diagnosis occurred.
  • Bringing along any genetic testing results that have already been completed in your family.
  • Gathering any medical records related to your concerns or diagnosis.
  • Preparing a list of questions you would like to ask your genetic counselor.

A typical appointment

The initial meeting with your genetic counselor usually is about an hour. Genetic testing and follow-up appointments may occur. Your initial counseling session may include:

  • Review of your personal and family medical history
  • A risk assessment for you and other immediate relatives
  • Education about your concerns or diagnosis
  • Information on genetic testing options
  • Genetic testing (such as a blood sample) if indicated after the discussion
  • Discussion of the meaning of possible genetic test results
  • Information on long-term resources

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the cost for genetic counseling?
    The genetic counseling appointment will be applied to your medical insurance, similar to other healthcare visits. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be contacted by Gundersen's estimates team in advance with your out-of-pocket cost for unmet deductible, co-pays or co-insurance.
  • What should I bring to my first genetic counseling appointment?
    Bring along any genetic testing results that have already been completed in your family. If genetic testing has not been done, bring the name of the condition diagnosed in your family and the ages at which diagnosis occurred.
  • Will I face the risk of losing my insurance coverage if I see a genetic counselor?
    No. With the passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, both employers and health insurance companies cannot discriminate against patients because of genetic testing results.
  • Is the information discussed in my meeting with a genetic counselor confidential?
    As with all other aspects of healthcare, confidentiality of risk assessment and results is important. No information discussed in the meeting will be shared with third parties without consent.
  • How long will it take to receive my genetic testing results if I were to have testing?
    Depending on the type of genetic tests, results can take several weeks. In your appointment, if genetic testing is indicated, your genetic counselor will provide you with a timeline for results.
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